With an ancient tradition tracing back to the middle ages, and to the great Norwegian Viking Ottar, this cognac dynasty has a unique history. Around the same time, the Chateau de Cognac was built in an entirely different place and culture. Eventually, the two histories would unite in the cognac house Otard, founded in 1795. Today, Otard Cognac is amongst the most recognized in quality and remains to take a strong position in the industry. The elegant bottles are a sign of tradition as well as modern values.
History of Otard
Otard Cognac has a grand history. Its home is the Chateau de Cognac, also called the Chateau des Valois. Originating in the 9th century, this castle went from being a fortress during the Hundred Year War to the home of the Valois family in the 1500s and future King of France, Francois I. In 1688 the Scottish Baron James O’tard followed King James II into exile in France.
His great grandson, Jean Baptiste Antoine Otard, was born in Cognac in 1773 and would found the famous cognac house Otard, buying the Chateau de Cognac as a home for the estate. But before he could establish the company, he was sent to exile in England for a few years during the French Revolution and could only return in 1795. His family had been winegrowers and the step to become a cognac producer and gain independence was not all too difficult.
Today, Otard is very proud of its innovative marketing strategies, such as its exquisite packaging. They work a lot with limited editions, creating an element of exclusivity that is important in the luxury brands market. For instance, in 2006, Otard launched its first vintage cognac from the Grande Champagne region, dated 1975, in an edition of 1000 bottles.
The most valuable cognac remains to be the 1795 Extra, a blend that is stored in a secret cave in the Chateau, and the result of an old tradition and quest for highest quality. Since recently, Otard belongs to Bacardi Ltd, positioning it next to highly ranking spirits like Bombay Sapphire Gin, Grey Goose Vodka, Martini and of course Bacardi Rum.
News, Products, Anecdotes and Labels
Cognac Otard VSOP won the Gold medal at the 2009 International Spirits Challenge and the Silver medal at 2009 International Wine & Spirit Competition.
Otard was the first cognac producer to create a cognac at 55º, going back all the way to Baron Otard who noticed that this was what happened to the spirit through the long sea voyages to export the barrels.
Throughout the centuries, the Chateau has had prestigious guests such as Richard Lion Heart, Henry III King of England, the philosopher and writer Voltaire and the Queens and Kings of France.
Otard has a museum with a detailed overview of its history, its product range and its collection of posters and campaigns of the past decades. Visits start with a discovery of the medieval Chateau, followed by an introduction to the different stages of cognac production.
Guided tours begin, every day from April to September, at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm (from April 1 to June 30 and September 1 to September 30 continuously from 9.30am to 5.30pm). From October to March, every day (except Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm.
Contact Otard for any enquiries under +33 5 45 36 88 86
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